By Colleen Flaherty
Killeen Daily Herald

The Fort Hood Army Wives are branching out.

The social networking group, which boasts more than 1,300 members on its Facebook page, is holding its first small-business expo from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

Current Fort Hood Army Wives Facebook page moderator and founder Anita Hernandez said that more than 40 women will display their wares, from Polish pottery to Scentsy candles.

Hernandez, a Florida native whose husband, Pfc. William Hernandez, is assigned to the 41st Fires Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, developed the idea for a Fort Hood Army Wives Expo after launching her own Hispanic cooking instruction business earlier this year.

She wondered if the other Army wives with whom she regularly corresponded through Facebook and social outings would be interested in highlighting their own small businesses, she said, but never imagined she’d need to rent space at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

She thought it would be a small gathering in her living room at best, she said.

Hernandez, a full-time student and mother of two, is happy she’s found a way to help other wives support their families.

“I like helping people,” she said. “It’s part of my personality.”

Air Force wife Jill Frobuccino of Copperas Cove is one of the expo’s vendors. She recently began selling 31 Gifts totes, and the Fort Hood Army Wives Expo is a good first public outing, she said.